Community Channel: Students head to state contest, Executive retires...

Three Coleytown Middle School students have been selected for entry in the state-level competition of the annual Reflections Contest, a national PTA art contest. All their work relates to the theme, “Within Reach.”

Izabela Pauliny, a seventh-grader, won first place with her poetry collection, “Unveiled Reality.”

In the photography category, Lillian Murphy, also a seventh-grader, will represent CMS with her picture, “Lunch Truck.” And for the second year in a row, Sophie Alcyone, an eighth-grader, won first place in the visual arts category with a pencil and watercolor drawing, “The Palm of Your Hand.”

Their teachers are Sarah Martin, Linda Kangro and Allison Beggs.

The CMS work was judged by Miggs Burroughs, Julie Heller, Vicky Lavergne and Michaela MacColl.

Winners of the state competition will be announced May 16 at Roger Ludlowe Middle School in Fairfield and will go on to compete in the national contest.

The Georgia Institute of Technology presented degrees to two Westporters in December.

Brian Beatty earned a Master of Science in materials science and engineering and Connor Mitnick earned a Bachelor of Science in biomedical engineering.

Audrey Sparre, the vice president and chief operating officer, retired last week from Homes with Hope, Inc.

Homes with Hope is devoted to addressing the special needs and problems of homeless families and individuals and people at risk of becoming homeless in Fairfield County. Its continuum of services includes a food pantry and soup kitchen, emergency shelters for single adults, young women aged 18 to 24 and families, permanent supportive housing for the chronically homeless, casework services, mentoring, youth education and the life skills training critical in helping to prevent homelessness from reoccurring.

Paris Looney, the director of emergency shelter operations, has been promoted to V.P. and COO, handling much of the activities that Sparre oversaw over the past decade. Ms.

Looney, a 13-year veteran of the organization, will oversee operations at the Gillespie Center, the Bacharach Community and Project Return and will also have responsibility for the agency’s Supportive Housing Services division, which will be supervised by Wendy Epstein.

Epstein has been with Homes with Hope since June 2002. She has provided case management services to the supportive housing clients at Westport Rotary Centennial House and Hayes Avenue in East Norwalk. She will now supervise a staff of four social workers who care for approximately 60 units of supportive housing in Westport and Norwalk.

To learn more about Homes with Hope’s programs and services, visit

Staples High School journalism teacher Mary Elizabeth Fulco recently talked to Y’s Men about the confluence of traditional journalism and social media, but more about values, and about the need for traditional, mediated — and print — journalism.

Fulco is the faculty adviser for Inklings, the school’s award-winning student newspaper, for which she was recognized as Educator of the Year by the Deadline Club, New York’s chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists in 2016. In 2017 she was named Westport’s Teacher of the Year.

The Westport Arts Center is calling for entries for their annual High School Student Art Exhibition.

High School students throughout the region are invited to submit original works of art showcasing their creativity and artistic talent.

In its fourth year, the exhibition will be reviewed by art historian Elizabeth Gorayeb, executive director of the world-renowned Wildenstein Plattner Institute. She will also serve as the curator for the Arts Center’s Spring Exhibition.

The competition is sponsored by Alan Nevas and his wife, Janet, in memory of Tracy Sugarman. Sugarman, a Westport resident who was an illustrator, writer and civil rights activist, is best known for his painting and illustrations recording American history from D-Day to the space shuttle.

Awards will include:

The Tracy Sugarman Award ($100), to the juror’s choice for best submission among Westport students;

The Sontag Award ($500), to the juror’s selection for Best in Show;

The People’s Choice Award ($250), to the artist who has received the most votes by the public.

Submissions are due March 2 and there is a $10 entry fee. Need-based scholarships are available.


Only one, two-dimensional artwork submission per student (completed in 2017 or later);

No sculptures, films and three-dimensional works will be accepted;

Artwork may not exceed 24 inches any direction, including frame;

Work must be ready to hang with wire; works on paper must be framed and wired.

The work may be used for promotional purposes, including social media and press materials.

An opening night reception and awards ceremony for the High School Student Art Exhibition will be held on March 23 at 6 p.m., in conjunction with the opening of the Arts Center’s Spring Exhibition.

Further detail on how to submit work is available by calling 203-222-7070 or by visiting

Dance shoes in closets around Fairfield County are being brought out for polishing as leaders of the local business community begin the demanding process necessary to compete in ElderHouse Adult Day Center’s annual Dancing with the Stars.

The fifth annual gala benefit is being held March 24 from 6 to 11 p.m., at Rolling Hills Country Club in Wilton.

The gala event showcases seven Fairfield County business representatives, each paired with an award-winning dance professional from Norwalk’s Fred Astaire Dance Studio, who donate their time to practice routines, hone them to perfection, and compete in this exciting and impressive dance competition.

The notable lineup of 2018 dancers representing Fairfield County includes:

Carolyn Donohue-Ulman, assistant to president and director of Trademark Anti-Counterfeit, Dooney & Bourke in Norwalk;

Hank Fatigate, general manager of the Little Pub in Wilton

Eric Ferraris, chief operating officer at Toohner-Ferraris Insurance Group in Wilton;

Nathan Gottlieb, co-owner of All Seasons Marine Works, located in Rowayton and Westport;

Karen Kelly, senior vice-president at First County Bank in Stamford;

Andrea Kostanecki, a realtor at William Pitt Sotheby’s in Rowayton;

Kristin McClutchy, owner of Pure Barre Darien;

Dancing with the Stars Gala Benefit is ElderHouse’s largest annual fundraising event and helps the Norwalk nonprofit to sustain its award-winning program of adult care, socialization, and recreational activities to a senior population living with aging diseases. Funds will be raised through ticket sales, pledges, onsite voting, live auction, and a paddle raise.

For more information on how to donate, make a pledge to a favorite dancer, or for event tickets, contact ElderHouse at 203-847-1998 or visit

The Westport Department of Human Services reminds seniors the department offers a list of middle and high school students willing to work small outdoor jobs such as raking leaves or shoveling walkways.

There is a suggested fee of $10 per hour.

Seniors needing assistance may contact the department at 203-341-1050.

Students interested in helping a senior and earning extra money can contact the department or email Students already registered for the program are requested to contact the department if they wish to remain on the list. Written permission from a parent or guardian is necessary.

PaintCare, a no-fee paint recycling program, is available to Westport residents at the Westport Transfer Station.

Residents may take advantage of this program by bringing latex paint, oil-based paint, primer, stain, sealer, varnish and shellac (no spray paint) to the Westport Transfer station, 300 Sherwood Island Connector, Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and Saturday from 7 a.m. to noon.

There is no charge for recycling paint at the Transfer Station site for Westport residents, nor are any local tax dollars expended. The program is funded by a PaintCare Fee of 75 cents per gallon, which is added to the purchase price of paint sold in Connecticut. This fee is used to fund all aspects of the PaintCare stewardship program. Collected fees pay for paint collection, transportation, recycling, public outreach and program administration.

The addition of this program to the town’s recycling efforts is expected to reduce annual hazardous waste processing by $3,000 to $4,000 annually.

The paint dropped off at the transfer station is packed into large, plastic-lined boxes and transported to PaintCare’s facility. If possible, the paint is recycled into new paint. If not, it may be turned into fuel or used to make another product.

PaintCare Inc. is a nonprofit organization established by paint manufacturers to plan and operate paint-recycling programs in states that have passed paint stewardship laws. Connecticut is one of only seven states in the country to pass the legislation.

Do you drive on the Merritt Parkway late at night or early in the morning between Fairfield and Westport? Then be prepared for some delays because of a $56.7 million project that won’t be finished until August 2019.

The project will focus on a five-mile stretch of the parkway between the Congress Street bridge in Fairfield to the Newtown Turnpike overpass in Westport.

The project will include new pavement in both the northbound lanes and work on 11 structures related to the historic bridges, built nearly 80 years ago.

There’s also upgrades planned for guiderails, drainage and restoration of the historic bridges. With all this work, lane closures are needed.

Northbound lane closures are planned from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. from Saturday to Wednesday and from 9 p.m. to 8 a.m. on Thursday and Friday.